De la Renta joins Clintons and pantsuit in Ark.
An Oscar de la Renta pantsuit, center, worn by Former first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, is displayed next to other creations by the designer at the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Ark., Monday, July 8, 2013. The "Oscar de la Renta: American Icon" exhibit is on display at the Clinton library until Dec. 1. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — It's not quite "Project Pantsuit," but it's not far off.
Hillary Rodham Clinton on Monday honored fashion designer Oscar de la Renta, the man responsible for a teal, silk pantsuit she wore when she was sworn in as a senator.
The two shared the stage together last month in New York when Clinton, a self-professed pantsuit aficionado, presented de la Renta with the Council of Fashion Designers of America's highest honor and joked about a fictional "Project Runway" spinoff, "Project Pantsuit."
They met again Monday evening in Little Rock, where some of de la Renta's work — including the teal pantsuit — is on display at the William J. Clinton Presidential Center.
Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, thanked de la Renta for his work and his friendship as they feted him and his temporary exhibit called "Oscar de la Renta: American Icon," which opened in May and runs through Dec. 1.
"I was not asked to open this relatively brief ceremony because I am the most expert person on this stage in the field of high fashion," the former president said in the company of de la Renta and Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour.
Fashion designer Oscar de la Renta looks at a crowd gathered in his honor at the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Ark., Monday, July 8, 2013. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)
Wintour, meanwhile, praised de la Renta and his work with first ladies and Clinton for her work over the years, most recently as secretary of state.
"She always looked entirely appropriate wherever she was and nearly always in Oscar," Wintour said.
Wintour drew applause from the crowd when she mentioned the former first lady as a potential presidential candidate in 2016.
"It's anyone's guess what the next chapter will be for this extraordinary woman," Wintour said. "I can only hope that all of you here in Little Rock will be celebrating her come November 2016."
Clinton didn't discuss her future or poke fun at her penchant for pantsuits on Monday.
Instead, she thanked de la Renta, whom she has called a "dear friend."
"Oscar has really treated first ladies such as myself and Nancy Reagan and Laura Bush with such great support," she said. "And sometimes, as Chelsea knows, he's even dressed our daughters."
That was evidenced at the de la Renta exhibit, where Clinton's daughter's garb was displayed near her teal pantsuit.
That pantsuit, which hardly needs a placard identifying who wore it, stands near a red, cashmere outfit Laura Bush wore in 2008 and a beige ensemble Nancy Reagan donned two decades earlier.